The new, young doctor in town (Ayres) becomes interested in a young deaf-mute woman named Johnny Belinda (Wyman). She has been raised by her father (Bickford), who has a mill, and aunt Aggie (Moorhead). Still, she is isolated from her community because of her disability. Dr. Richardson learns sign language and lip reading to teach her to communicate. The two are spending lots of time together, and she is smitten with the doctor. One dark and stormy night, when Johnny Belinda is left by herself at home, she is raped by the town thug. Soon, she learns she is pregnant. Local gossips speculate Richardson is to blame. After the child is born, the town residents take it upon themselves to deem her an unfit mother because of her disability. They unwittingly argue that the man who raped her and his wife should take custody. When he and officials attempt to take the baby, Johnny Belinda shoots her attacker and is placed on trial for murder.
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The film is set in rural Nova Scotia, Canada, but is actually filmed in Mendocino, California. Jane Wyman won an Oscar for her role and her acceptance speech is reportedly still the shortest on record – “I won this award by keeping my mouth shut and I think I'll do it again.”
Another piece of salacious trivia surrounding this film: Wyman and her then husband, actor Ronald Reagan divorced soon after this film was made (1948). One of the many reasons speculated was an affair Wyman and Ayres supposedly had while shooting “Johnny Belinda.”
The review of this Movie prepared by ldpaulson